Sunday, January 1, 2017

Vital signs / food

With a new finger pulse monitor and a blood pressure / pulse monitor, I've been taking some readings during workouts and at rest.  Here's the findings.

My pulse is pushed to 160+ after the completion of a set of intervals.  Within a minute, it rebounds to the 140s, but even after several minutes, it stays at around 120.  After 20 minutes, it is still above 100.
So, during workouts that last 90min from warmup to end, my pulse stays well over 100 for the entire time.

Morning rest is when the pulse is lowest.  After taking several readings this morning, my average resting pulse reading is 51 (48-53 range) and average blood pressure about 112/65.

In time for the New Years resolutioners,  a commentary on weight and food.   As I've said many times, 'the more you eat, the more you want to eat' ... and the converse is true.  The past 3 days I've eaten light and since I don't usually eat breakfast, my daily low weight occurs after my afternoon workout and before dinner, or afternoon before my first meal on non workout days.   It also depends on my activities and how much time on my feet.  My morning weight is closer to my maximum daily weight since I eat late in the day.  This morning I was 146.8 and lately, my daily range is approximately 144 -148.  

For me... having a 'normal' amount of fat I'd weigh about 152 lbs, a BMI of 23.8, in the healthy range.  At 'race weight' 142 lbs, my BMI is 22.2, only 1.6 points less.   Although I have raced successfully at as high as 144, 142 is a good strength to weight ratio.

To put this in perspective, the average American male has a BMI of 28.6, which would put me at a weight of 182.5 lbs ... if I were average.  Again... seems astonishing to me that 182.5 lbs is average for an American my height.   We are a very fat nation.

Two points on weight and athletic performance.  Any diet / exercise lifestyle modification attempted to increase strength to weight ratio and eliminate fat has benefits that are only seen weeks (minimum of 2 weeks) after even the most austere regime is put into action.  The converse is also true... when low body fat is achieved, it takes about 2 weeks of eating carbs to start putting on the fat layer.

That said, the hardest adipose to lose is that last 5 lbs in getting to that prime low body race ready condition.  It can take a month of very lean living.  I'm at least 2 weeks away right now.

Calculate YOUR BMI

Lowering starchy carbs is what works for body fat reduction.  Starchy cards are an addiction, comparable to nicotine and alcohol.  Often viewed as 'comfort food' ... when eliminating carbs, I feel temporary withdrawl symptoms like weakness, and the feeling of being hungry even when full.  Substituting protein and fat helps a lot.  Even raw sugar, which is a carb - but not a starchy carb! ... can help relieve this withdrawl.  It's really not that hard to get past.  Just takes a week or so.   Carbs are necessary in moderation for muscle building and athletic performance, but when getting to race weight, losing that difficult last 5 lbs, you really have to watch the carbs.  Better to eat chocolate than bread.  However, once near race weight, I eat bread or oats in the morning with fruit, eggs or peanut butter.  But the key to any weight reduction program is mental and lifestyle.  If you center your day around food... scheduled meals, buying food, preparing food, etc... 'a food centered life'... it will be impossible to lose weight.  I recommend staying active, up and moving about, doing projects, walking, exercising, yard work, shopping, browsing, anything on your feet ... something to give daily life meaning besides eating.  If you are really interested in food and nutrition, read labels and nutritional data.  Become "nutritionally literate."

I've found that 2 cups of coffee with raw sugar will even out my blood sugar in the morning and off I go, not hungry, not even thinking about eating til late in the day.  This regime is contrary to many nutritionists basic guidance and is unconventional.  I don't care.  It works.  It's proven ... time and again.  I think it's really funny to hear sedentary people say they 'need food for energy'.  I can tell you, I've run fast and done hard work and brutal training on the track on 'empty' ... not having eaten for 18 hrs.   I don't recommend this but it's a sure fire way to burn fat.  Best to eat a light meal including some carbs 5 hrs before training or race.  Quickly absorbed things like gels and sugars can be eaten even 2 hrs before a hard track workout.  You need food more for recovery than for 'energy.'    Fasting is really underrated and I think, quite healthy in moderation.  I also think fasting helps nutrient uptake, instead of constantly bombarding your digestive tract with meal after meal after meal.

I basically live off of fish, vegetables, fruits, chocolate, nuts, and raw sugar ... occasionally other proteins like eggs and turkey.  Recently found a brand of wild tuna certified mercury free.  My recent favorite vegetable is collard greens - great in stews and like kale, a rock star of nutrition but much better tasting than kale.

Also, as we age, our ability to digest decreases so I recommend probiotic and digestive enzyme supplements.  It prevents from carrying too much waste... which is weight.

HAPPY 2017

Blood pressure / pulse this morning

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